R. Bruce Carnevale 2014-05-30 01:47:37
Work With Your Biggest Competitor I’m often asked whom I consider our biggest competitor. Without hesitation, I say: The federal government. Most are surprised that I don’t name our direct competitors, but after thinking about my answer, there is almost universal agreement. If you own a business, or have a role in running a business, you know all too well the impact the federal government has on the decisions you make every day. There are direct impacts on your business caused by the rules and regulations promulgated by the various government departments and agencies. Recent regulatory actions affecting our industry include: 1. The “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act,” effective January 4, 2014. 2. Department of Energy (DOE) boiler efficiency standards, effective September 1, 2012. 3. The DOE-mandated increase in minimum efficiency standards for water heaters, which will become effective with products manufactured after April 15, 2015. 4. The American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (2012) requires DOE to develop new test procedures for water heaters. 5. The DOE rulemaking to consider possible approaches to enforcing regional standards for residential furnaces and residential central air conditioners and heat pumps. 6. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented rules in July of 2013, which further limit capacity in the motor freight industry. 7. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). All of these regulations require significant Investments in time and resources on the part of every channel partner in our industry. And, while I’m not suggesting that regulation is bad, I am of the opinion that regulation works best when industry leaders are involved in the regulatory process WITH government. That is why it is critically important for you to work with your “biggest competitor” to ensure that regulations are reasonable, fair and achieve their intended objectives while minimizing the dreaded unintended consequences of poorly conceived regulation. It is not difficult to get involved. Many industry organizations, such as ASA (American Supply Association), have active and effective advocacy groups that can guide you through the process. So, whether you join a legislative affairs committee, attend a legislative “fly-in,” call or write you representatives, become a signatory to an industry issue letter, or invite your members of Congress to visit your facility and learn about your business, I urge you to get involved. Your customers, your company and our industry will all benefit from your efforts. Thank you, R. Bruce Carnevale
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